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Jets' secondary struggles to fill void left by Revis' injury

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Darrelle Revis will miss his second consecutive game because of an injured hamstring, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan announced Thursday.

Revis didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday while he nurses an injury that he aggravated while covering New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss two weeks ago.

Revis' status for Sunday's road game against the Buffalo Bills isn't a surprise because he initially was expected to miss a few weeks. Ryan said Revis has a chance to play against the Minnesota Vikings next week.

"His rehab's been outstanding," Ryan said. "A hamstring is a thing you don't want to rush back, especially if you're a corner. As bad as we want him to play, we want him to play all season.

"If he plays this game and then reinjures it, now we lose him for another six games or something like that. That would be devastating to our team."

Antonio Cromartie again will fill in for Revis at left cornerback, with rookie Kyle Wilson or veteran Drew Coleman playing the right side.

Cromartie, a five-year veteran, has been OK at times and shaky at others. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall had eight of his 10 catches while going against Cromartie last Sunday.

"I was kind of upset at myself for being hurt," Revis said Thursday. "And that I couldn't be a part of that win and be a part of covering Brandon if I was out there."

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Meanwhile, Wilson has struggled, and it appears he'll be replaced by Coleman in the starting lineup. Wilson then would be able to concentrate on playing in nickel packages, as was originally the Jets' plan when they drafted the former Boise State star in the first round.

"You've got to make the plays," Wilson said. "I didn't make them."

Wilson has been picked on throughout the Jets' first three games and struggled mightily at times. He was called for a 27-yard pass-interference penalty that helped set up the Dolphins' first touchdown.

"Obviously I would have loved to make some more plays," Wilson said. "I just have to look back and learn from it and become a smarter player, looking back at it and envision myself making those plays in the future."

Ryan and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine haven't lost confidence in Wilson, but they believe Coleman has earned an opportunity to start -- or at least have some significant playing time in Revis' absence. Coleman had the victory-sealing interception against the Dolphins.

"I left a lot of plays out on the field," Coleman said of his performance against Miami. "I guess I was pleased with it, but there is a lot of work we have to do as a whole. I think I played OK, but there's a lot of work we still have to do."

That's clear from the 824 passing yards the Jets' secondary has given up, as well as the 20th overall ranking -- including 27th against the pass. The Jets also are second to last in stopping opponents on third down.

"It's an area of concern," Pettine said. "Getting off the field on third down has always been our trademark."

Ryan has blamed the secondary's poor performance on a breakdown in communication, with three new players -- Cromartie, Wilson and Brodney Pool -- learning to play with each other. Defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman challenged his squad Wednesday to quickly improve.

"Bet against us," Ryan said. "See if we're going to finish 20th in the league. Bet against us if we're going to be 31st or 32nd on third down. I have a funny feeling that number will be first in the league. I'm sure that defense will be first or second. I've been there."

Ryan and Pettine have acknowledged that having a player the caliber of Revis in the secondary allows them to take full advantage of their aggressive defense up front. The lack of full-out blitzes has been another casualty of Revis being sidelined as the Jets have just five sacks this season -- a reason they signed veteran defensive end Trevor Pryce on Thursday.

"You take the best corner in football off the field, there's going to be a dropoff to the next guy," Pettine said. "It's changed some things we've been able to do, but we've got to get it done without him.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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